TYPES OF DIVINATION
The invention of divination is ascribed by some ancient writers to Prometheus, by to the Phrygians or Etrurians; by Zoroaster, to Ahriman, the principle or angel of darkness and evil; and likewise by the holy fathers of the Christian church to the devil.
The following is a list of some of the principal ancient methods of divination, many of which are still familiar today.
ABACOMANCY: Telling the future by the way patterns of dust are dispersed or layered, similar to reading tea leaves.
ACULTOMANCY: Use of needles for divination. The needles are placed in a shallow dish and covered slowly with water; their movement is then observed. How they are crossed against each other is then interpreted. For example, if one needle crosses two it reveals that an enemy is working against you.
AEROMANCY: The art or science of divination by means of the air or winds; weather forecasting.
AILUROMANCY: Divining using the actions and movements of cats. A few examples are: it is bad luck to carry a stray cat into a house; if a cat is cleaning itself against the grain, it indicates a coming rain shower; if a cat sits or sleeps with its back to the fire, it signifies a frost is coming. These beliefs are consistent and widely dispersed.
ALECTOROMANCY, ALECTRYOMANCY: A form of divination by recording the letters revealed as a cock eats kernels of corn that cover them.
ALEUROMANCY: An old form of divination using meal or flour. Derived from the Greek word aleuron, meaning flour, it involves looking at the patterns formed when flour and water are mixed, swirled, then the liquid dumped; similar to tea leaf readings. A more common method, the precursor to Chinese fortune cookies, is to write a statement on a small slip of paper and roll it in a ball of flour paste and bake.
ALOMANCY: A form of divination involving the use of salt. Also, halomancy.
ALPHITOMANCY: A form of divination involving the examination of barley.
AMBULOMANCY: A form of divination involving walking in circles. See also, gyromancy.
AMNIOMANCY: A form of divination involving examination of the embryonic sac or amniotic fluid.
ANTHROCOMANCY: The art of divination through the study of burning coals.
ANTHROPOMANCY: A form of divination using the entrails of dead men.
ARITHMANCY: See, numerology.
ARMOMANCY: A form of divination involving the shoulders of animals. See also, spatulamancy.
ASPIDOMANCY: A form of divination involving examination of a shield.
ASTRAGALOMANCY: A form of divination involving dice or knuckle-bones, in which letters are marked on the faces of the dice and the future is foretold from the words formed as the dice fall. See also, cleromancy.
ASTROLOGY: A form of divination involving the relative positions of heavenly bodies.
ASTROMANCY: Divination by observation of the stars. See also, sideromancy.
AUGURY: The art of telling the future by means of signs, originally the flight of birds; divination. An omen or potent from which the future is foretold.
AUSTROMANCY: Divination by observing the winds, specifically the south wind.
AXINOMANCY: A form of divination involving the use of an ax-head.
BELOMANCY: Divination in which marks or words are placed on arrows which are then drawn from a quiver at random.
BIBLIOMANCY: A form of divination using books or the Bible in which passages are chosen at random and the future foretold from them.
BOTANOMANCY: A form of divination involving the examination of plants.
CAPNOMANCY: A form of divination using smoke.
CARTOMANCY: A form of divination involving playing cards or Tarot cards.
CATOPTROMANCY: A form of divination involving a crystal ball or mirrors.
CEPHALOMANCY: Divination by examining the shape and features of the head.
CERAUNOMANCY: Divination involving thunder or thunderbolts.
CEROMANCY: A form of divination involving dropping melted wax into water and then examining the shapes.
CHALCOMANCY: Divination through the use of brass vessels.
CHAOMANCY: Divination involving aerial visions.
CHIROMANCY: Palmistry. Also called, cheiromancy.
CHRONOMANCY: A divination to determine the precise time for action.
CLEIDOMANCY: Divination involving a key or keys.
CLEROMANCY: See, astragalomancy.
COSCINOMANCY: A form of divination involving a sieve and shears.
CRITHOMANCY: Divination involving the strewing of grain over the bodies of sacrificed animals.
CRYSTALLOMANCY: Divination involving crystal-gazing.
CUBOMANCY: A form of divination involving the use of thrown dice.
DACTYLIOMANCY: Divination involving the use of finger rings.
DEMONOMANCY: A form of divination involving a demon or demons.
EMPYROMANCY: Divination involving fire and smoke.
ENOPTROMANCY: A form of divination involving a mirror and its reflections.
EXTISPICY: See, haruscpicy.
GASTROMANCY: Divination involving listening to stomach sounds; also, divination by gazing into a crystal ball or a glass full of water.
GELOSCOPY, GELOTOSCOPY: Divination that determines a person’s character or future from the way he or she laughs.
GENETHLIALOGY: See, astrology.
GEOMANCY: A form of divination that analyzes the pattern of a handful of earth thrown down at random or of dots made at random on paper.
GRAPHOLOGY: Divination involving the analysis of handwriting; a technique of personality analysis involving the use of handwriting. Also, graptomancy.
GRAPTOMANCY: See, graphology
GYROMANCY: A form of divination involving walking in a circle. See also, ambulomancy.
HALOMANCY: See, alomancy.
HARIOLATION: The act or art of prognostication or divination; soothsaying.
HARUSPICY: A form of divination from lightning and other natural phenomena, but especially from inspection of the entrails of animal sacrifices.
HEMATOMANCY: Divination by means of blood.
HIEROMANCY: Divination involving sacrificial remains or sacred objects.
HIPPOMANCY: A form of divination involving the observation of horses, especially listening to their neighing.
HOROSCOPY: The art of casting horoscopes or divinations based upon the relative positions of heavenly bodies; the position of the sun and stars at the time of a person’s birth.
HYDROMANCY: A form of divination involving the observation of water or of other liquids.
ICHNOMANCY: The analysis of the personality and appearance of people by studying their footprints.
ICTHYOMANY: Divination involving the head or entrails of a fish.
IDOLOMANCY: A form of divination involving idols.
LAMPADOMANCY: A form of divination involving observation of the flame of a torch or lamp.
LECANOMANCY: Divination involving the examination of water in a basin.
LITHOMANCY: Divination involving rocks or stones.
LOGARITHMOMANCY: A form of divination involving logarithms.
LOGOMANCY: Divination involving the observation of words and discourse.
LYCHNOMANCY: See, lampadomancy.
MANTICISM: The art of divination and prophecy.
MANTOLOGY: Obsolete. The art of fortune-telling.
MARGARITOMANCY: Divination involving the examination of pearls.
METEROMANCY: Divination involving the observation of meteors.
METOPOMANCY: Rare. A form of divination involving examination of facial features.
MOLYBDOMANCY: Rare. Divination involving observation of the movements of molten lead.
MOROMANCY: Divination that is flawed or foolish.
MYOMANCY: Divination through the observation of the movements of mice.
NECROMANCY: Divination accomplished through communication with the dead; the magic practiced by a witch or sorcerer. Also, nigromancy.
NEPHELOGNOSY: Divination by the observation of clouds.
NOMANCY: A form of divination involving the examination of letters, possibly from a graphological point of view. Also, onomancy.
NUMEROLOGY: Divination involving numbers.
OENOMANCY: A form of divination involving analysis of the colors and features of wine.
OMOPLATOSCOPY: Divination involving the examination of shoulder blades. Also, spatulamancy.
OMPHALOMANCY: A form of divination in which the number of knots in a newborn’s umbilical cord are counted to foretell the number of children the mother will have later.
ONEIROMANCY: Divination involving the analysis of dreams.
ONOMANCY: Divination involving the letters of a name.
ONYCHOMANCY: A form of divination involving the examination of the fingernails.
OOMANCY: Divination involving eggs.
OPHIOMANCY: Divination involving snakes.
ORNITHOMANCY: A form of divination involving the observation of birds, especially birds in flight.
OSTEOMANCY: Divination by the examination of bones.
PALMISTRY: Divination involving analysis of the features of the hand, especially of its various lines.
PEDOMANCY: A form of divination involving the study of the soles of the feet. Also called, podomancy.
PEGOMANCY: Divination through the observation of springs or fountains.
PESSOMANCY: A form of divination involving pebbles; the study of marks made on pebbles with are drawn at random from a container. Also, psephology.
PHYLLOMANCY: Divination through the examination of leaves.
PSEUDOMANCY: Divination that is deliberately false or misleading.
PSYCHOMANCY: See, necromancy.
PYROMANCY: Divination involving fire or flames.
PYTHONISM: Divination after the manner of Pythia, the Delphic priestess.
RHABDOMANCY: Divination involving a rod or wand, especially to locate object or materials beneath the ground, as water or precious metals; dowsing.
RHAPSODOMANCY: Divination involving written verses.
SCAPULOMANCY: See, spatulamancy.
SCATOMANCY: Divination involving the examination of excrement.
SCHEMATOMANCY: Divination of a person’s future through observation of physical appearance.
SCIOMANCY: Divination through observation of shadows. See also, necromancy.
SCYPHOMANCY: Divination involving the use of a cup.
SELENOMANCY: Divination involving observation of the moon.
SIBYL: In ancient Greece and Rome, a woman with oracular or prophetic powers, the most celebrated being that of Cumae and Delphi.
SIBYLLIST: A believer in or follower of the sibyls; a believer in their prophecies.
SIDEROMANCY: Chiefly, astromancy; also, a form of divination involving observation of the sparks, shapes formed, etc., when straws are burnt against a red-hot iron.
SORTILEGE: Divination involving the drawing of lots.
SPASMATOMANCY: A form of divination used to foretell disease by observing the spasms or twitching of the potential victim’s body.
SPATILOMANCY: Divination through the observation of animal feces.
SPATULAMANCY: A form of divination by means of an animal’s shoulder blade. Also, aromancy, omoplatoscopy.
SPODOMANCY: Divination through the use of ashes.
STERNOMANCY: Divination involving the examination of the breastbone.
STICHOMANCY: Divination involving lines of poetry or passages from books.
STIGNOMANCY: A form of divination involving the examination of writing on or carving in the bark of a tree.
SYCOMANCY: Divination involving figs or fig leaves.
TASSEOGRAPHY: Divination through interpretation of the shapes made by used tea leaves.
TELEGNOSIS: Clairvoyance or other occult or supernatural knowledge.
TEPHRAMANCY: A form of divination involving the ashes remaining after a sacrifice.
THEOMANCY: Divination involving the responses of oracles or soothsayers.
THERIOMANCY: Divination involving wild beasts; observation of the movements of wild animals.
TYROMANCY: A form of divination involving the observation of cheese, especially as it coagulates.
UROMANCY: Rare. Divination through the observation of urine.
XYLOMANCY: Divination involving pieces of wood.
ZOOMANCY: Divination involving the observation of animals or their movements under particular circumstances.
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